By: Bob Reinholt
My name is Bob Reinholt and I live in East Wenatchee. I am retired after spending nearly my entire working career in the fruit business in the Yakima Valley. We have three grown children and seven grandchildren. I met my wife George Ann while we were both attending the University of Washington in 1956. George Ann was a Tacoma girl. After we were married we settled in the Yakima Valley. She was my lifelong partner, not only working out in the orchards, and keeping all the books necessary in running the business, but also raising our three children.
After our retirement, we split our time between Yakima and Scottsdale, Arizona, eventually making Arizona our permanent home.
In about 2008, we started to notice small changes in George Ann such as: misplacing items, forgetting small things like dates, trouble keeping score on the golf course — just small things that we would just laugh at and forget. This progressed until, in April of 2011, after many tests by our family doctor and then a neurologist, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It is at this time, I like to say, that we truly began our joint journey, traveling the road of this insidious disease.
By 2013 things had progressed to the point where the family agreed, and I reluctantly at first, felt we should move up to the Wenatchee area where we have family locally and could also be closer to family on the west side of the state. It turned out to be the best thing we have ever done. I became the primary caregiver for George Ann with help and great support from family and friends, until eventually, I had to obtain some outside help. I was able to care for her here at home until August of 2017 when we had to place her in a home under hospice care. That was the hardest decision I have ever made. Our family was able to have a great five-day family reunion in Leavenworth in June of 2017 celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary just two months before she was placed in hospice care. George Ann passed away a week before Christmas in 2017.
The name of our Walk to End Alzheimer’s team is Reinholt Family and Friends. This is the fifth year we have walked. Our team is made up of mostly family and close friends.
The Alzheimer’s Association and the Walk have been a great help to me. We all look forward to being together for such a great cause. Even though George Ann is gone, I still want to stay involved in the Walk and other activities that the Alzheimer’s Association offers. When you think about the approximately 110,000 people living with Alzheimer’s along with approximately 346,000 caregivers attending to dementia patients in our state, it makes a person want to do whatever they can to help fight this disease. I truly believe there is someone living today that will be the first person cured of this terrible disease.
Reinholt Family and Friends will be walking at the North Central Washington Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 21.
Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. This inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease! Find your Walk and start your team atalz.org/walk.